The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Why doesn't Forkish

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

Why doesn't Forkish

...do a pre-shape? 

I'm coming to the shaping of his Double Fed Sweet Levain recipe and it has just occured to me he doesn't do a pre-shape. I'm tempted to do one anyway but the hydration is quite high for the flour I'm using and if anyone can convince me to handle the dough less I'd be most grateful. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I would do a pre-shape.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Good rule of thumb. Thank you Mini.

Photo attached. 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

in a couple of his recipes. He noted it was because this particular dough had less gluten if I remember right. Do a preshape, it only helps the dough. 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Turns out it was way too hydrated for the flour I used. Did my best and dumped it in the lekue. Was afraid if I proofed it in the banneton and baked it freestanding it'd end up as a puddle on the floor of the oven if I ever got it out of the banneton. The lekue is a second best to the dutch oven. More support then a dutch oven but less that a loaf pan with some steaming benefits. 

Photo attached.  

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’m interested in the Lekue. Please send a link so I can see exactly what you use.  I looked it up on Amazon and it looks interesting.

Thanks,

Dan

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

https://tinyurl.com/lekue-breadmaker

This is to the UK site. 

It's a nifty piece of equipment. A piece of silicone with a clasp on top so it forms a pocket. I had an issue not being able to create steam in my oven plus the oven couldn't fit in a dutch oven. This was the next best thing. However I have been able to get around some issues and mostly bake freestanding loaves now. However the lekue sometimes comes in handy when I feel the dough needs more support. 

BreadBabies's picture
BreadBabies

Baked a couple of loaves with it early last spring, but never really thought it performed as well as the D.O.  and I wasn't super fond of the banana boat shape.  I had a vision in my head that I'd never dirty a bowl and mix, proof, and bake in a single vessel. Didn't work out for me. Right now, it's being used by my toddler as a toy.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

It's not a dutch oven. However because of my situation of the oven I use I had to make do with it as the next best thing if you can get over the final shape of the bread that is :)

I use tin foil to close the gaps and it creates good steam for a better crust. But now I've found a way for a free standing loaf I go for that and use a banneton for a better shaped loaf. It did the trick for a while and now I use it just for situations like this.

Plus, you'll never get a crumb, like above, baking in a loaf tin. So while it isn't as good as a dutch oven it is better then a loaf tin. I rarely use it nowadays though. Not since I've gotten around the steaming issue. It only makes an appearance if I think I need a fail safe or I want a no muss no fuss bread.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’ve never seen or heard of these. I may give it a try. Can you fold it up very small for storage?

how are the breads shaped after the bake?

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

As when the clasp is on. The final loaf is like a football shape. 

Pretty handy for times like this last bake. I do the main dough in a bowl and then just final proof and bake in the lekue when necessary. Also good for days when you want less fuss. 

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

were you happy with the crumb? did you end up doing a pre shape? The lekue explains the shape you get, I wondered how you got that shape. How much dough do you usually do? 800 g give or take a bit?

Leslie

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Crumb is lovely and a nice surprise. I ended up doing a bit of a pre-shape which was a fold in the bowl, tighten it up and flipped it over. Was too nervous doing a bench one. Then I sprinkled flour over the top, did my bowl spinning trick (you might have seen a forum topic I started in this) and topped it over into the bench for a final shape and into the lekue. That! and a lot of blue language when handling the dough :) This was about a 900g dough which is a lot more than the recommendation but can get away with. The dough flattened out a lot but rise very well. It's like a bowl so for such a dough to rise that well and fill the lekue is good even if it is supported. A stiffer dough at 900g might have been a tad too much for the lekue. It all depends on the type of dough and rise. 

Elsasquerino's picture
Elsasquerino

The lady who puts up with my baking mess each week, Mrs Elsasquerino actually bought me it for Christmas... She can't hate it as much as she makes out! So I'll be trying some of his loaves asap! Which one is this Abe? And what did you use so I can adjust accordingly if you don't mind sharing ;-) great looking bread even with the hassles you encountered. I think half of the battle of baking bread is knowing how to solve the problems, well done.

Sorry, read properly now... Double fed sweet levain!

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

I think the misses wants some bread :) 

This one was the Double Fed Sweet Levain. Bit of new territory for me but went with it. It involves a double feed Levain from a mature starter. Then a tad of yeast in the final dough. The result is an earthy, slightly tangy yet sweet bread. Complex flavour. 

The flour I used was Tesco's Strong Bread flour (12.6% protein). Strong is pushing it a bit. More in the territory of AP I think. I'm going to advise stronger flour. Also, as with a lot of Forkish's recipes - watch the dough and not the clock. Good idea with every recipe but here even more so. I think I had a lapse and watched the clock. 

Have fun! I hope my struggles have helped you avoid them. 

Oh yes, follow the recommended builds but scale down. Forkish tends to build a lot, use some of it and discards the rest. Keep the percentages but build up to what you need. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I don’t own the book, but why is it called ”sweet” Levain. I searched the internet for the formula and I don’t see any sugars.

Is it called sweet because the Levain builds cause the Levain to be non-tangy or not sour?

What do you think about using aluminum foil to seal off both sides of the Lekue for 10 minutes or so to keep more steam?

 Dan

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Its the two builds of the levain, with a mature starter, in quick succession that takes away the tang giving it an earthy sweet"ish"  flavour. No sugar involved.

That is exactly what I do when I need to resort to using the lekue (which isn't much these days). I seal off the side openings with tin foil and remove them after 20 minutes. Then after a further 10-15 minutes or so, when the crust has sufficiently formed I open the clasp and continue to bake till there is a golden crust. Often I remove the bread and return it to the oven to finish it off. But a word of caution - the lekue gets very hot indeed!

Portus's picture
Portus

Forkish writes that two feedings (double fed) “limits the build-up of sour flavors”, and a slow fermentation with overnight retarding in the refrigerator “creates a bread with an excellent, sweetish levain flavour”.  

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Slight tang, earthy and sweet-ish.

I think the issue I had was the flour not being able to handle the hydration and because this sweet levain was a new technique for me I made an error of watching the clock and not the dough. Something I;ve trained myself not to do but was thrown off by this different method.

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

after reading your post and skibum’s one.  Then I dug out FWSY and read his method.  I assume (hopefully) that skibum has done something like this method too.  Yet another side of SD baking to think about.  love that you make such great bread, making do with what you have available...  and then still help us all in so many ways.  :) 

happy baking Abe

Leslie

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

This being the method he learned from Chad Robertson. It's an interesting one and something to be delved into more I think.

Thank you Leslie. I try my best.

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

would a young starter being used in a young levain not achieve the same result? I do a three stage build and then last build for 6 hours after which i make a levain and leave it for 6 hours before using  - gives me a lot of viguor without tang...i used to have much longer gaps between builds, levain and mix (because of timing issues such as sleep and work)  and bread was much tangier but personally i prefer a milder sourdough chew with the essence of the flour more prominent.....as for forkish ive never read him - love his videos though...however from everything ive read on this forum i dont understand the appea he seems to conflict alot of people?....perhaps i should start a dan lepard thread....he has some fantastic breads in the handmade loaf that are worth exploring - old european breads... 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

But at some point you want a mature starter that has been fed and peaked within 24 hours before embarking on the levain building. After which you then have two levain builds in quick succession. The first one being left for 3 hours and the second 5 hours. I imagine if you begin with a starter that hasn't been fully matured after a recent feed one might not get the same effect. It's a complex flavour going on with a sweet (ish) after taste.

Please do start a thread. Lots more to learn.

Portus's picture
Portus

... replicate, in a manner of speaking, the build required from a NMNF seed/starter over 12 hours?  This could imply NMNF has an inherent sweetness, comparatively speaking.  I recall DBM writing somewhere that he achieves his required "sourness" from older stock, so to speak.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

DBM states, "Make sure you are maintaining 80 -84 F while building the starter.  This is the temperature range that suits yeast reproduction rates and the LAB will still be out reproducing yeast at that temperatures."

I haven't seen Forkish's book, but I'd imagine he is not stipulating temperatures that high. At 80 - 84 wouldn't the starter get more sour?